Friday, 27 March 2015

Filling my life with clay.

I am looking forward to doing some exciting workshops over the next few months
that will help me to keep exploring my love of clay.

It is very easy, after working as an artist for many years,
to consider that your time as a student is over.

However I hope that I will keep learning until the day I die.

Everyone has a unique way of being an artist
and I find it so exciting to try new ways of making.

It is for this reason that I am currently a studio based Distance Ed student
in my second year of a Grad Cert/Visual Arts/Ceramics at ANU
which I plan to follow with a Masters in Ceramics.
I am loving it!

The only trouble is that when my semester stops,
I don't want to stop!

So I am filling the spaces between my ANU study
with workshops with ceramists that I adore.
In particular, this year, Sandy Lockwood.

                                               In May I plan to do her Tea Pot workshop.

small green-yellow-stoneware tea pot
by Sandy Lockwood

In June a wood fire workshop
in August another wood fire workshop.


There are still places left, though only a few!
So come and join me at one or many of her workshops.

You can click this link
Sandy Lockwood's workshops
to find out about what she is offering at her Balmoral Pottery Studio.
Contact her directly through her website.

Sandy is a delightful and talented potter,
a generous teacher and a wonderful inspiration to work with.
Don't miss this chance to learn from a master.

Wednesday, 18 March 2015

Farewell to old friends.

Sometimes it is hard to accept when special people pass on.
When I heard in mid Febuary that my friend and mentor,Toni Smith,
had died I just couldn't process it.
Maybe it was a prank message?
I had not been told any funeral details.
No suggestion of illness.
I was holding on to a hope that it wasn't true.
We had been keeping in contact but only via mail, email and Facebook.
It was one of those friendships that asked no restraints of visits or attention.
Months or years could pass and it would feel like no time had passed at all
and there was not the slightest waver in fondness and understanding for one another.
How could she just not be there anymore?
It was only when I realised her Facebook profile had gone that I started to really believe it.
Finding her obituary was the final confirmation.

Antonia Mary (Toni).
11th February 2015
Beloved wife of Leon and wonderful mother of Martin, Leonie and Fiona. 
Grandmother of Esther, Gabriel, William, Angus, Chloe (dec), Amelia and step-grandmother of Luke and Holly.
Will be sadly missed by her family, extended family and friends.

Privately Cremated
- See more at:

Toni taught me to make plant fibre paper.
But we had many cross overs of interest.
I had gone to high school with her dear son 
who was the person who had sent me the notification.
Thankyou so much Martin you must be missing her so much.
We had lived in the same area many years ago 
and Toni had also been a potter but it took going out to Orange to her paper making workshop for us to meet and make the connections.

Thank you Toni for being you.
You enriched my life and I am a lucky person to have enjoyed your friendship.
Later in life Toni discovered her love of digital photography.
Here are some of her works

Some years after her workshop I made these pieces 
as  part of an exhibition celibrating how 
some of my teachers had inspired me.


                                   It was these pieces below, 'Flower Heads'
                                   made from plant fibre paper
                                   that were dedicated to Toni.


With out Toni's workshop all those years ago 
I would not have enjoyed the adventure 
of all the following acts of creativity.
The development /connection between 
my garden and my art is thanks to Toni.

The last few years I have had to farewell
most of the strong artistic female mentors in my life.
I miss them all.
I thank them all.

My mum,Tattwam.
photo by my brother Chris Donaldson
only days before she died.

Virginia Kaiser

Margaret Tuckson

May Barrie

Vale Toni Smith

 My heart is full of  gratitude for your friendship and inspiration.